Nude Photo of Carla Bruni to Hit New York Auction Blocks

A nude photo of France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is to be auctioned off at a sale next month in New York City, an auction house said.

The image was taken by photographer Michel Comte in 1993, when Bruni-Sarkozy was one of the world's most coveted models. In the black-and-white photo, she strikes a pigeon-toed pose, her hands covering her crotch.

The photo is expected fetch $3,000 to $4,000 at the auction, to be held at New York's Rockefeller Plaza, according to the Web site for Christie's auction house.

An official at French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office declined Tuesday to comment on April 10 sale, saying it concerned the leader's private life.

Sarkozy divorced his second wife in October and married the Italian-born former model — now a successful singer — in February, after a quick courtship.

Bruni-Sarkozy was to undertake her first state visit as France's first lady on Wednesday, with a two-day trip to Britain, where she and her husband are expected to attend a lavish banquet held by Queen Elizabeth II.